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Essential Skills for Paralegals
CRIMINAL LAW Terminology
Terms in this set (27)
a violation of criminal law is viewed as harming the community. therefore, the state acts against he violator. penalties for violating criminal law include fines, community service, and imprisonment. one can be sued civilly and charged criminally for the same event.
the bringing of criminal charges against a defendant; also the party presenting the Government's case as a criminal trial.
state or government
In a criminal case, these terms mean the prosecution.
an order from a judicial officer or the court authorizing an arrest or a search or seizure of property.
The first court appearance by a defendant to a criminal charge, during which the court informs him or her of the charges, decides whether bail is appropriate, and sets the date for the next court proceeding.
a crime punishable by a sentence of less than one year.
a crime punishable by a sentence of a year or more in prison.
money or property deposited with the court to procure the release of a defendant and to ensure the appearance of the defendant at trial.
A written agreement to pay the full bail amount to the court if the defendant fails to appear when required.
A defendant is released without being required to post bail, on the promise that he or she will appear in court at designated times.
An attorney who is ordered to represent a defendant, usually because the defendant cannot afford an attorney.
legal representative. attorney.
the decision of the prosecutor not to prosecute, even though he or she believes that there is sufficient evidence to do so.
prosecutor for the state
to declare a defendant's position in a criminal trial, usually either "guilty" or "not guilty." other possible please include "nolo contendere."
a defendant in a criminal case agrees to plead guilty, usually to a lesser charge, in return for a reduced sentence.
nolo contendere (or no contest)
when a defendant decides not to contest the charges, but does not admit guilt. the defendant may be sentenced as though he had pleaded guilty.
a hearing requiring the State to produce sufficient evidence to establish that there is probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed by the defendant.
a reasonable basis to believe that a crime has been committed.
submitted to; sent
an investigatory panel that determines whether probable cause exists to return an indictment.
a formal charge by a grand jury alleging a criminal act.
formal hearing in court where the defendant is informed of charges being brought and generally pleads guilty, not guilty, or nolo contendere.
beyond a reasonable doubt
the degree of proof required in a criminal prosecution usually requiring unanimous agreement of the jury. the jury may have some doubt and still find the person guilty, but the doubt cannot be reasonable. if the doubt is reasonable, the verdict must be not guilty.
To find a defendant not guilty
a judgement against your client.
in a criminal case, the state cannot retry a defendant on the same charges once a not-guilty verdict is rendered by a judge or jury.
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